Group to launch election campaign

By Matthew Martin

11 comments
Dr Reynold Macpherson.  Photo/File
Dr Reynold Macpherson. Photo/File

Members of the Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers group will launch their campaigns for the Rotorua mayoralty and district council at a set of public meetings.

The group's endorsed mayoral candidate Dr Reynold Macpherson said the group would be doing things differently from other candidates and would not be holding a one-off campaign launch, instead running a "grassroots consultation" campaign at meetings across the district.

"The public is invited to meet and share their concerns with a new council team of endorsed candidates. Instead of repeating a vague vision, and promising even more frenetic implementation, our seven candidates will introduce themselves and then listen," Dr Macpherson said.

Along with Dr Macpherson, the group's six other council candidates - Peter Bentley, Julie Calnan, John Dyer, Raj Kumar, Rosemary MacKenzie and John Visser - will also attend most of the meetings.

Dr Macpherson said the group had challenged the Rotorua Lakes Council's decision-making processes and promised to "restore democracy, the rule of law, financial responsibility and policy-making power to elected representatives".

He said the group had formed a list of 20 "concerning issues" it would focus on during the election campaign. They were debt and spending, the library/children's health hub, unelected policy makers, secrecy, the CBD cycleway, the demotion of councillor Glenys Searancke, parking, yellow and black signs, the City Focus, the Christmas tree, buses, online voting, rural representation and roading, rates, the quality of council consultation, council marketing, relationship with Bay of Plenty Regional Council, portfolios, officials' role in policy making, and renaming public entities.

"We have preliminary ideas about how to resolve them but first we need to listen to the many different communities in our district," Dr Macpherson said.

Community consultation meetings start tomorrow, with the last meeting on Thursday April 14.

"We raised awareness through letters to editors, meetings, yellow signs and submissions. We now ask communities to imagine what they need in the way of more sensible local government. It's time for a cup of tea," he said.

Elections for the 10 seats on council, Rotorua mayor, Lakes District Health Board and Bay of Plenty Regional Council will be held in October.

Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers group meetings:
Thursday Marrch 10: Mokoia Community Centre, 297 Vaughan Rd, 11am - 12.15pm.
Friday, March 11: Linton Park Community Centre, 6 Kamahi Pl, 7pm - 9pm.
Monday, March 21: Western Heights, 3 Brookland Rd, 6pm - 8pm.
Saturday, March 26: Rotoma/Rotoehu Community Hall, 10.30am - 12.30pm.
Sunday, March 27: Lake Tarawera, 582 Spencer Rd, 10.30am - midday.
Sunday, March 27: Lake Okareka, Okareka Community Hall, 7pm - 9pm.
Thursday, March 31: Rotorua East Bowling Club, Warwick Dr, 7pm - 9pm.
Tuesday, April 5: Mamaku Hall, 7pm - 9pm.
Friday, April 8: Reporoa Memorial Hall, 7pm - 9pm.
Tuesday, April 12: Rerewhakaaitu Hall, 7pm - 9pm.
Thursday, April 14: Ngakuru/Waikite, Bluff Club, Waikaukau Rd, 7pm - 9pm.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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